Antonio Cardenas Guillen, alias “Tony Tormenta,” headed up the financial and logistics side of the Gulf Cartel, which his brother, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, once ran with an iron fist.
Tony Tormenta rose to the top of the Gulf Cartel following the extradition of his brother Osiel to the United States in 2007. Osiel is now in a United States prison serving time for drug trafficking and threatening a US law enforcement officer.
Tony Tormenta Factbox
DOB: March 5, 1962
Criminal Activities: International drug trafficking
Area of Operation: Tamaulipas, Mexico
Before his death, Tony Tormenta was considered the strategist and money-man of the operation while his associate, Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, alias “El Coss,” was thought of as the muscle. Cardenas controlled the cartel’s most lucrative “plaza,” or drug trafficking corridor, Matamoros-Brownsville, Texas, for years.
Cardenas was indicted in 2008 in the federal district of Washington DC. The US offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.
Cardenas was most influential in Mexico’s northern border city of Matamoros, a traditional power center for the Gulf Cartel.
Allies and Enemies
Cardenas’ Gulf Cartel is a long-time enemy of the Zetas, which broke away from its parent organization following Osiel’s extradition to the US. In April 2010, authorities confirmed an alliance between criminal group Familia Michoacana and the Gulf Cartel in order to team up against the Zetas. The Gulf Cartel has also come into conflict with a number of other former allies, including the Tijuana and Sinaloa Cartels.
Mexican security forces killed Tony Tormenta in November 2010 during a six-hour firefight in Matamoros.